ADOBE READER 8.0 has drastically changed in its appearance than all the earlier versions. The influence of Macromedia is quite prominent with Flash like interface features thrown in. It has adopted the glossy looks too! Adobe seems to be on the same lines as Windows Vista for its GUI.

The features not found in its prior versions are:

  • Shared Reviews – Reviews are stored on a central server, allowing all participants to see reviews in real time
  • Commenting – The selected comments are highlighted for easier visibility when zoomed out
  • Attachments – A PDF file can have other PDF’s attached to it, as a single file or a PDF package
  • Booklet printing – Can print documents in booklet format i.e you can print on both side on the paper so that it is readable like a book
  • Digital signatures– Enroll for a signing service where the server holds your private key. Authenticate to the server from Acrobat and allow the document to be signed with your credentials stored on the server
  • Integration with Adobe Connect– One can access the real-time, web-based collaboration capabilities of Acrobat Connect by just click the Start Meeting button to escalate from a document review to real-time communication with others over the Internet.

The Pros

Completing and submitting online forms is the most fascinating feature in the latest version. This feature is called as Online Form. There is a utility PDF feature which can help generate an XML document of the submitted information while the Check Form feature helps to authenticate the custom data fields in the forms. It also provides a spell check to identify typos and data which is filled in the forms. A different use of it comes in as a RSS Reader too. Lifehacker has written about how to use it as an RSS Reader.

Adding Attachments is another feature which throws open a new door for users in the PDF files. Imagine sending your resume in a PDF with your academic & sports certificates attachment in the same file along with comments about you from your professors, colleagues & seniors. Beyond Adobe Reader is one place which can act as reference for learning about using Adobe Reader as client for other Adobe products.

The cons

Now lets dig out to find the loose ends “Size does matter” and with approx 20 MB download size & 72 MB footprint on the OS many will feel its too much space for a PDF reader while other readers occupy only one fifth of its size. Also the software takes some time to start and open the PDF’s . At least on my system the app was slow which runs Windows XP Pro with a 256 MB SD RAM.

Conclusion

Overall the product is for sure power-packed with new features compared to its ancestors. Nonetheless, I was the most happy person using the product since it helped me in filing my IT returns online through a PDF form!


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